February 21, 2024 | Rome, Italy


By |2018-03-21T18:31:32+01:00September 1st, 2006|Reviews|


Date: 2006

Director: Woody Allen

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Ian McShane, Scarlett Johansson


fter “Match Point,” British nobility (Hugh Jackman as Peter Lyman) again furnishes the charming but bad guy as Woody Allen continues his pursuit of American tragedy, this time with a lighter touch.

Neurotic, fumbling Allen plays magician Sid Waterman, “The Great Splendini,” at work in London. Old Allen refreshingly is still funny with gags and ironic observations. Water plays a supporting role again as an ominous rather than life-giving force with a vague nod to Ingmar Bergman. On their journey with Death on the River Styx, a hardboiled but deceased reporter Joe Strombel (Ian McShane) gets a scoop from a fellow passenger about the identity of her killer — perhaps serial. Joe’s ghost “appears” in Allen’s magic act and selects journalism student Sondra Pransky (Scarlett Johansson in a ghastly wardrobe) to receive the scoop and fill his shoes before he returns to the dead souls.

A few nagging questions, though: Why would a woman have sex with a man she believes might just be a serial killer? Why does a young attractive reporter resort to seduction to obtain information? What happened to wit and guile? Are all Americans in London so dopey? See it for the cast, charm and laughs.

About the Author:

Judy Edelhoff launched and became producer of a series of prestigious lectures on history, politics, arts and culture televised nationally from the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Previously worked in for the Folger Shakespeare Library. In Rome, she served as Special Assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture. Her interest in cuisine has included collaboration with Italian chefs and master chefs, including the prestigious French Laundry in Napa Valley. She is a native Floridian and later Washington, D.C. resident.